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Zoho Releases Free App to Facilitate Safe and Compliant Return to Work Practices
August 19, 2020 News


Editor’s Note: We’re definitely traversing new territory right now with the pandemic situation and businesses have had to learn their way around the new ways of working and meeting compliance requirements. The good news is that technology has played an important role in helping us adapt to the situation quickly and has allowed us to continue to carry out our duties remotely, preventing most businesses from grinding to a complete halt.

Companies like Zoho are lucky in that they’re in just the right areas of tech, with the portfolio of offerings that can really help businesses overcome the challenges of this new normal. This week, DTA was invited to attend a virtual session where Gibu Mathew, Zoho Corporation’s VP and GM for Asia Pacific, announced Zoho’s new software application that addresses the major challenges faced by businesses transitioning to post-pandemic norms.

The application, named Zoho BackToWork, was designed to facilitate various critical activities within an organisation to support safe working practices. Think about all the requirements that a company needs to fulfil once employees can return to the office, the temperature checks, social distancing, contact tracing and the like. With Zoho BackToWork, these can be done in a more systematic way and accessed from anywhere.

We can see the value in the app as even here at AOPG for example, once the MCO was lifted and office work resumed, a member of staff has had to go around taking everyone’s temperature readings at certain intervals. Such manual methods may be possible for smaller teams, but as Gibu mentioned during the session, for companies with hundreds, maybe thousands of employees or even schools and colleges with large numbers of students, keeping track of everything becomes a much bigger challenge.

Hence, Gibu explained that Zoho BackToWork can be used to “address the various aspects required for safe operations, empowering companies to get back to work” during these times of recovery. Best of all, it’s available free of charge until the end of the year.

We had a chat with Gibu regarding remote working and business collaboration best practices just a few weeks ago on our Tech Lockdown webcast (which can be viewed here). From our conversations, we have to say that the company’s success seems to come from their willingness to listen to customer feedback and continually evolving their offerings in line with the needs of customers.

For further information regarding Zoho BackToWork announcement and its features, the full press release is as follows:


Zoho Introduces BackToWork, Enabling Employees to Return to Work Safely 

Free for all organisations and supports compliance to best practices for employees’ health, BackToWork helps Southeast Asian businesses who cannot sustain operations while fully remote. 

Zoho Corporation, a global technology company offering the most comprehensive suite of software applications for Sales, Marketing, HR, Finance and IT teams, today announced BackToWork, a fully comprehensive modular solution enabling businesses and organisations to safely transition back into the workplace. Free for the remainder of 2020, BackToWork, powered by Zoho Creator, is the latest program to be introduced as part of the company’s ongoing relief efforts, which support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Back in March, amid global office shutdowns, Zoho introduced Remotely, a free suite of 11 business applications designed to help companies of all sizes transition to remote work. Since its release, more than 25,000 organisations are using Remotely, which will remain free for businesses through September 1st. In the next phase of relief efforts, Zoho unveiled its Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP), which continues to provide Zoho’s small business customers free access to their existing Zoho applications. Nearly 20,000 organisations have taken advantage of ESAP, providing financial relief during this crisis. In April, Zoho’s Vertical Relief Plan was rolled out, offering businesses in three hard-hit industries — Retail, Government & Non-Profit and Education — custom-built tools and assistance programs to navigate pandemic-related issues. Zoho is entering a new phase with BackToWork, giving businesses around the world a safe and secure way to return to the office.

“Now that organisations are planning to re-open in some parts of the world, we want to help them resurge, this time through BackToWork, an application enabling companies to maintain end-to-end workplace safety and meet compliance needs, without affecting productivity”, said Gibu Mathew, Vice President, and GM, Asia Pacific Zoho Corp. “The next phase of normality in the workplace would also need confidence-building steps from employers and this application would help in that direction”.

Scalable to companies and organisations of all sizes, BackToWork supports Chief Operations Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, Facility Heads and their teams in making critical decisions around returning to the workplace without compromising on the safety and compliance aspects. The robust application consists of six modules designed to address every concern involved in the process of re-entering the workplace, all within one secure, easy-to-navigate solution:

  • Safe Entry: Define multiple buildings and locations and control facility access based on employee wellness and travel history via a contactless end-to-end check-in system through generated QR codes.
  • Employee Wellness Assessment: Track workplace wellness by defining self-assessment, safe entry and travel policies. Employees can securely and privately submit a wellness questionnaire reporting travel history, recent medical history and any pertinent possible exposure history.
  • Maintenance and Assets: Define and manage assets and building maintenance requests for employees. Repair/replacement requests can be handled in the app.
  • Admin Control Panel: Gain a 360-degree view of workplace data in preconfigured dashboards as well as add and manage your employees and define roles for tasks such as approvals, emergency contacts, etc.
  • Communication: Materials such as announcements, FAQs and best practices, policies and safety documents can be shared with employees and managed in the communication module.


Other Key Features 

  • The user-friendly application allows organisations the option of advanced customisation to tailor to their specific company needs through Zoho Creator.
  • The application can be easily integrated with top HR platforms like Zoho People and BambooHR.
  • BackToWork is accessible via a progressive web app, iOS and Android.
  • BackToWork can be simply integrated with Active Directory and Zoho Directory.
  • Zoho has several enhancements in the pipeline including a Travel Management module and integrations with popular video conferencing platforms.

“For us here in the National Maternity Hospital, it was very much a case of continuing to provide our services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic”, said Dr Luke Feeney, Director of Risk, Audit and Safety, National Maternity Hospital, Ireland. “To do that, we needed to provide and assure easy access to up-to-date, accurate and insightful information concerning our response to COVID-19, which could underpin effective and efficient understanding and decision-making”.


Pricing and Availability 

As part of Zoho’s ongoing effort to support businesses during these uncertain times, BackToWork will be offered free of charge until the end of 2020. After that period, it will cost $2 USD/user/month for all regions.


Zoho Privacy Pledge 

Zoho also ensures a level of confidentiality that no other vendors in this space can guarantee. Zoho does not allow any third-party trackers to monitor usage behaviour on its cloud services and never sells any data to ad-based companies. Because Zoho owns and has built its entire technology stack, the company is able to offer the most secure experience to its 50 million users without any compromise on data privacy. Zoho BackToWork users have the assurance that their data is confidential and protected and only users themselves maintain ownership of that data.